The key to any speech is a first-rate topic. This chapter will focus on how you select a topic, narrow it, create a central idea, and construct a working outline.
There are 3 basic steps: Identifying the general purpose, creating an idea bank, and doing your preliminary research.
The general purpose is the unrestricted aim of your speech that falls under these categories: To inform: providing information to the audience. To persuade: to reinforce, change, or influence the attitudes, values, beliefs, or actions of your audience. To accentuate a special occasion: to entertain, to celebrate, or to commemorate.
And idea bank is a list of general words and phrases that could be potential speech topics for you <<CLICK>> Brainstorming is when you “free associate” or jump from one word or concept to another. Consider interests, experiences, abilities, talents, values, attitudes or beliefs. <<CLICK>> Exploring your general purpose to find topic categories. <<CLICK>> Searching for topic ideas in print publications, reference works, web sites, or other media and materials.
Before you commit to a topic, do some preliminary research to see if you can locate current, quality material on the topic.
B. Reinforce Values
You can narrow your topic in different ways, the main result of any method you use should be a focused, effectively written central idea (thesis statement) [CLICK] Identify the specific purpose of your speech [CLICK] Identify the central idea of the speech [CLICK] Evaluate the central idea [CLICK] Construct a working outline
Specific speech purpose of your speech is a single statement combining your general purpose, your audience, and your objective.
The central idea (also called the thesis statement) is a concise, single sentence summarizing what you will say in your speech
Evaluate your central idea from two perspectives <<CLICK through bullets>>
A working outline is a brief (usually handwritten) sketch of the body of your speech Main points are the backbone that makes up the body of your speech - usually two to five of the most important ideas about your topic Working main points are early drafts of your main points Turn to your central idea for categories Sum up each of your categories with a statement or question
C. A statement that sums up what your speech is about.